web analytics

Thoughts For Thursday: Why I Love The Waltons

June 16, 2011 · 75 comments

in Thoughts For Thursday

Ok, so my secret shame is that I love the TV show “The Waltons”.  I remember completely hating it as a kid, but I love it in reruns now that I am older.

Most people who already know this little tidbit about me like to mock how much I enjoy watching the Waltons.  If I answer the phone chipper, someone might ask if I am happy because I just saw one of my favorite episodes of  The Waltons.  If I post on Facebook that I am having a good day, someone will pipe in that I must be sitting on the couch watching the Waltons.   Personally, I wonder how the show is surviving in syndication if I am the only one watching.

One day when I was bored, I sat and thought about why I like The Waltons so much.  This is what I came up with:

  1. The Kitchen Table.  Mama and that crabby Grandma are always making big meals for the whole family.  Waking up to eggs and biscuits every morning and sitting down to chicken and mashed potatoes every night sounds wonderful.  Oh, there is also plenty of dessert after every dinner too.   The thought of having a large family sitting around that giant picnic-looking table with a checkered table cloth is very endearing to me.
  2. Work Ethic.  Everyone on the Waltons puts in a hard day’s work, and nobody wants to accept being poor.  If you don’t have enough money, you  just don’t get whatever it is you want.  If you didn’t make enough money or grow enough food over the summer, then you accept it will be a lean winter and you have to just cut back.  There isn’t the option to just put everything on credit and spend frivolously.  ‘Retirement’ isn’t about living on Waltons Mountain when the weather is nice in the summer and traveling to Florida for the winter.  You work hard as long as you can.  Of course, I don’t want to work hard forever, but these mountain folk don’t need a cushy life and do not demand one.  Life is about caring for and enjoying your family, and making enough money to pay the bills.  It isn’t about buying a fancy jalopy to impress the neighbors.  Of course, the neighbor is probably 3 miles away, so there isn’t as much opportunity to impress the other citizens of Waltons Mountain anyway…
  3. Kids Are Kids.  Those seven Walton kids aren’t playing Xbox or posting Facebook statuses that say “grandpa is SOOOO embarrassing in those overalls”.  The kids are working hard to help the family, and to help each other.  The siblings have their jealousies and disagreements, but they always support each other in the end.  The kids go on picnics, go fishing, and pick berries in the woods.  What a nice simple life!  Of course, there is the occasional argument over what radio program to listen to, but outside of that, the Walton activities are pretty innocent and fun.
  4. Appropriate Language.  If you spend about a nanosecond at the mall today, you will hear all kinds of great words, most of which are four letters long.  (Even the really, really bad four letter words.)  It is so refreshing to watch a show that isn’t peppered with swearing and double-entendres.  Shockingly, you really can watch a TV show that isn’t based on sex-related humor or violence!  Although since I am the only one that watches the show, maybe I am the only one that can live without such topics.  (Don’t get me wrong, I do enjoy non-puritan shows like ‘Frasier’, ’30 Rock’, and ‘The Office’.  However, I do find the innocence of The Waltons refreshing.)

Overall, I guess I just enjoy watching about life in a different era than I will ever experience.  Things today seem so rushed and crazy. Living in the country with a nice, big family for an hour every now and again is just nice.  I am not saying I want to experience the Depression and I certainly don’t want to spend all my days cooking, cleaning, washing, and mending.   Ideally, I guess I just want to mix some of the good parts of today with the good parts from generations ago.

Now that I have revealed my love of the Waltons, it is your turn.  Do you have a TV show from the past you really enjoy?  Golden Girls?  MASH?  227?  Little House On the Prairie?  Does anyone mock you for your TV watching choices?

If you enjoyed this post, please consider leaving a comment or subscribing to the RSS feed to have future articles delivered to your feed reader. Thanks for visiting!!!

{ 21 comments… read them below or add one }

Moneycone June 16, 2011 at 7:53 am

Heheh! I recently signed up for Hulu Plus and I was amazed to see 100s of shows available on demand. What’s going to be my first? I settled on Andy Griffith show!

Such a happy, innocent TV series!


Kris June 16, 2011 at 4:23 pm

Andy Griffith seems quite popular. I remember watching it occasionally when I would be home sick from school on reruns. That Opie was a great little kid.


The Biz of Life June 16, 2011 at 8:08 am

I grew up fairly close to Walton’s Mountain (Schuyler, Va in real life, and the boyhood home of writer Earl Hamner), and my relatives could have been characters out of that TV series. That show holds a special place for me as does The Andy Griffith Show, and Star Trek the original series, being a kid in the 60’s when the space race was going full tilt.


Kris June 16, 2011 at 4:22 pm

Biz, I bet it was beautiful where you grew up. Is it much different now, or has time passed by leaving it untouched?

I never really thought about Star Trek gaining popularity because of the space race and such, but that makes total sense. I know many people really love it.


Crystal @ BFS June 16, 2011 at 10:13 am

I am 28 years old and have been a Golden Girls addict for at least 10-15 of those, lol. I love the friendships and the personalities in that show! I am also a closet addict of Star Trek: The Next Generation, Designing Women, Murder She Wrote, Matlock, Family House, and Firefly. 🙂


Kris June 16, 2011 at 4:18 pm

I watched the Golden Girls a little in college, and lately, I have seen a couple episodes that are shown at 11:00 pm. Those old girls sure are sassy! I always did like Maude (Bea Arthur). She reminded me of my grandma somehow.


Nicole June 16, 2011 at 10:20 am

We’re currently going through the first season of Perry Mason on Netflix. It is so nice to watch a crime show where every other episode is NOT about a child being abducted, molested, and murdered. One of my colleagues says he thinks that there are probably more child abductions on tv than there actually are per year in the US. (He’s looked up the actual numbers, but guesses that with Bones and NCIS and all the different CSI, law and order etc. that’s more.) Our four year old can actually watch Perry Mason with us without us having to put it on 4x speed (which hasn’t been working for us anyway since his reading speed has improved considerably).


Kris June 16, 2011 at 4:17 pm

I saw enough about kids being kidnapped in real life where I grew up that I certainly don’t need to watch it on TV. I can’t handle any crime involving kids in a movie or tv show either. I watched Pet Cemetary at the movies when I was in college and had to leave when the shoe was found in the road of little Gage.

I have never actually seen an episode of Perry Mason. I will have to check it out.


Squirrelers June 16, 2011 at 3:49 pm

Maybe I’ll have to check out an episode if I come across it. It’s funny how our tastes can totally change from childhood to being an adult and parent. As I kid, I never understood or liked that show at all. Perhaps I’d appreciate it now, who knows?

One show from the 1970’s that I caught recently was Three’s Company. I laughed throughout the show, never mind that it was a 30 – make that 30+ years old show (feeling old again typing that). As a kid I didn’t get all the humor but I sure did now!

As for anybody mocking me for my TV show preferences, I guess nobody really has but if they did I wouldn’t care. We’re all quirky in our own ways, right?


Kris June 16, 2011 at 4:13 pm

I just figure people mock me in a nice, caring way…:)

I loved Three’s Company as a kid, but have not seen it in recent years. When I did watch it as an adult, I had the same thought as you- I missed so much of the ‘humor’ when I watched as a kid. I loved John Ritter.


Kaycee June 16, 2011 at 10:04 pm

I am a/the LITTLE HOUSE ON THE PRAIRIE queen! Love that show, love those books. I’ll still read one now and then. I so wanted to be Laura Ingalls (Wilder) growing up. Until the thought of no a/c and worse, no indoor plumbing, changed my mind. 😉


First Gen American June 17, 2011 at 6:29 am

Same, I never watched it growing up, but I was home sick earlier this year and there and it happened to be on and I started watching wondering what all the fuss was about. It was indeed entertaining. I guess the allure is that desire for simple country living. Fresh air, fresh food and family. Although I seriously doubted a real mrs walton would look so rested young and thin after 7 kids.

I always love watching anne of green gables during the pbs marathons. Same reasons. I have this dream of occupying my whole day outdoors, doing farm work, or fixing a roof or something.


Joe Plemon June 17, 2011 at 9:51 am

You aren’t the only Walton’s fan. My wife and I still enjoy the re-runs, but we are both old enough to remember when the show first premiered. It was refreshing even then. I appreciate and agree with your reasons for liking the Walton’s. One more thought: they had three generations living under the same roof. I wonder, as the economy sputters and as the future of Social Security is questionable, if we will be going back to that practice in America. Maybe we should all watch the Waltons to see how it is done.


Money Reasons June 18, 2011 at 12:25 pm

My “out of touch” TV pleasure from the past is “Newhart”, this is the one where they are inkeepers (not where he is a pyschologist).

Part of the allure is the setting and the sweetness of the characters.

Hi I’m Larry and this is my brother Darryl and my other brother Darryl.


Kris June 20, 2011 at 2:19 pm

I never really watched Newhart much (with the inn). Did Suzanne Pleishette star on that version of the show too?


Wendy July 14, 2011 at 10:57 pm

I was about 10 when The Waltons premiered and loved the earlier episodes with John-Boy, Grandpa and Grandma. Now that I am 47 I still watch it on the INSP and GMC channels. John Boy’s relationship with his grandparents was so much like the one I had with one of my grandmas as I was growing up.

I agree with all your reasons and can add a few more:

5) People told the truth and even if they tried to lie, their conscience got the better of them, like when Erin admitted she burnt the letter from Kurt to Mary Ellen saying he was going to get medical supplies with the money from the barn dance or when Ben used one of John Boy’s poems, altered it and had it published in a magazine.

6) The kids were much more well behaved and minded their parents and other adults. I get so fed up watching tv shows where the kids are always making the parents look stupid.

7) Everyone appreciated everything that everyone did. I don’t think I’ll ever tire of hearing a Walton say “Thank-you! I’m obliged.”

8) The characters were generous and tried to do the right thing. I loved the episode when John Boy took old Maggie MacKenzie to dinner for her 50th wedding anniversary rather than taking Marsha Woolery to the school dance. And they were always allowing people to stay with them it was like a B&B: Cora Beth, cousin Olivia, the actress Alvira Drummond, John Boy’s first love Jenny Pendleton, the circus people, the deaf girl, the prizefighter, etc. etc.

Although they had their hardships, it seemed to be an easier life in some respects than what we live today.

Thanks for the post!


Kris July 14, 2011 at 11:25 pm

Those are more great reasons too! I just love that show and never, ever tire of it. Actually, watching it makes me want to get a giant picnic table for my kitchen and feed anyone that walks by.

You are so right about how kids are now made to be smarter than they dolt-parents. There is so little respect for adults now days that it is completely refreshing when you see it.

Oh, and don’t forget Martha Corinne!!!


Wendy July 19, 2011 at 5:58 pm

I loved Martha Corinne’s fiesty attitude! She reminded me of my Nana.

It’s odd to my friends but for me I am “at home” when watching “The Waltons”. I think I would’ve enjoyed life more thenin many ways than I do now (although I love not having to share a bathroom!)

I used to have an elderly neighbor who lived next door to me and whose house and barn are 180 yrs old. Visiting with her was like talking to Esther Walton and going inside the hay mow of her barn was akin to contemplating life like John-Boy did. I could even imagine an old fashioned barn dance in her barn.

@Money – I, too, loved Newhart when it was set in the Inn. It never failed to make me laugh!


Kris July 20, 2011 at 8:53 am

I totally agree with you Wendy! I often wonder if I was born in the wrong generation. My friends all think I am crazy for enjoying the Walton’s so much. I would love to visit your former neighbor!

I felt awful for poor Martha Corinne.

I am always amazed at how the adults constantly work on that show, and I imagine that is how it really was too. Even Esther was constantly shelling peas or wiping tables after her stroke.


Joy B. July 29, 2011 at 9:27 pm

Great writing- and i love the way you think! Also you are not the only one who loves watching the Walton’s- it’s my favorite too! 😀


Kris August 1, 2011 at 10:42 pm

Oh thank you Joy! I just feel instantly happy as soon as I start watching an episode. Then I feel kinda sad because I would love to see what life was like back then. I probably couldn’t handle parts of it for more than a week or so. All that sewing…


Leave a Comment

{ 1 trackback }

Previous post:

Next post: